by Dr. Derek Lamar
"I will bend them, oh Lord, and if they break, so what.” It sounds so thoughtless and cruel. It sounds so cold and calculating. Being a Fourth Way Teacher is not easy. But also, there are few Fourth Way Teachers who really understand what it means to “Teach” and to reach into the soul of the student. In order to do this, truly, something supernatural must take place. I have an expression that goes something like this: “I will take you to the center of your soul and out the top of God’s head.” This goes hand in hand with the words of Pierre Teilhard De Chardin who said: “The day will come when, after harnessing space, the winds, the tides, and gravitation, we shall harness for God the energies of love. And on that day, for the second time in the history of the world, we shall have discovered fire.”
Sometimes we end up setting ourselves on fire. Playing with fire is a dangerous thing. This is why when you are dealing with fire you shouldn’t be playing around. Every student in the school I went to experienced things in a manner that was their own. Each of us went to a different school, in that sense, even though it was the same school. But this is like the microcosm and the macrocosm of the world. Each of us lives in the same world but we experience it differently. One could say that this is because of where we were born, our environment, our family, our life’s experiences, our state of consciousness, and most likely a combination of all of these factors. This is true of one’s experiences in a Fourth Way School, or any institution of learning, as well.
(Above right: Thane Walker, works on the plan which we were all left to figure our for ourselves. The old man and the sea of creation. It was mind unfolding, when it wasn't mind unraveling. )
When you are a Fourth Way Student or a Truth Seeker, you begin to look at your world as if your vision is a microscope. Based on that process you see what you see and you filter it through your own awareness of life and of yourself and you begin to form conclusions as to what is reality. But unless you are simply brewing coffee you probably need a more sophisticated formula. This involves making personal changes so that your ability to interpret what you perceive becomes clearer and not just recycling the same perspectives based on personal constructs. And this is why I have spent so many years beating my head against the wall of my own perceived model of the universe in order that I determine whether or not I was accurate about my experiences or simply stuck in a rinse cycle that kept using the same dirty water each time the machine would fill up.
(Above left: Thane of my mind's eye as one might imagine him looking back on his awareness of his world which only coincidentally happened to be our world as well.)
My first real discovery, regarding the banging of my head, was that I had learned everything I was going to learn in that school and it was time for me to move on. This might have been my fault or it might have been the school’s fault but the answer was still the same. At this point my studies probably increased fourfold. (How does one measure this?) I began reading everything I could. I had already started that minimally but now I was incrementally digesting so much as I made up for lost time. Nancy and I moved from Santa Monica and began living our lives in Hollywood, California. I spent more time on my music and Nancy and I began a continual pilgrimage to the great used bookstores to be found in the area. Gilbert’s Books, Carlton’s, The Bodhi Tree, Dutton’s Books, Book City, and in Long Beach, Acres of Books.
(Above right: Gurdjieff, Master of The Fourth Way, enjoys a meal in his favorite cafe in Paris.
I wrestled with this Teacher/chela thing off and on for years until I really began dealing with issues regarding my parents and my emotional baggage, which I kept high up on a shelf in the back of my consciousness. I only barely gave much thought to my Teacher and how it was a part of my script. I continually wondered why he did the things he did in the way he did them but it was distant and had nothing to do with me personally. But when I did I felt that, like my own father, he basically ignored me. I had a relationship with him but until I opened a school in Bakersfield he didn’t seem to really find a place for me. I felt somewhat neglected and unobserved much like with my own parents. I, of course, often felt that way with everyone: relationships, students, clients, business associates and friends. I had to come face to face with the fact that this was the looking glass of my own creation and because my parents created a world that I lived in which seemed to mirror this understanding that I created for myself, so did the rest of the world seem to appear in a holographic manner.
I began to break apart the puzzle which I hung on my wall as the map of my journeys and view reality rather than the myth which continued to hold up my superficial view of myself and my surroundings. By this time Thane had already passed on in 1989. I was viewing my own teacher critically but another part of me was still blaming myself for everything which was connected to my confusion about who I was and why I was not viewing myself at a level which seemed commensurate with my own achievements. I realized that I had perceived my parents as authority figures, like God, because they created me, they had been my providers and protectors and the guardians of the reality I had learned as a child. And then one day I found another spiritual figure and he became the focus of my childhood needs. Now as the great Fourth Way Teacher I would build a statue to him and believe that not only was he infallible, but that he was the resource for all truth, the depository of all mysticism and the doorway to my own salvation. And any of the faults I would see in him were simply tricks that my subconscious was playing on me and that I simply could not face the fact that I was a loser and that I had so much more “Work” to do on myself.
The Fourth Way Teacher concept gave me the false criteria of beliefs that allowed me to answer all of my questions in the perspective of everything being my fault. And if I were critical of Thane in my mind I would then oppose that observation by telling myself that he knew what he was doing and I was misjudging him and not taking full advantage of the Fourth Way lesson I was receiving. He ignored me because I needed to face that within myself. He paid attention to others because they needed the attention and I didn’t. He kept the school at a certain level of success because he knew what the student body needed and it wasn’t yet time to expand and reach the public. Every answer my brainwashed mind came up with let the Teacher and his problems off the hook and attributed it all to his perfection as a Fourth Way Master busy being the “Sly Man".
I did more Work and faced my parents in my consciousness and for the first time I relived the childhood abuse that had been thrust upon me emotionally. I was led to face myself as a child. I had never liked the child part of me and clearly it affected the rest of my being. I held him in my arms and loved him as he had never been loved, never been accepted, never been understood, never been listened to. I told him I would take care of him and he was now free to be himself and play and have fun. We were one and we were free. All of my Work wasn’t over but suddenly for a time I was stripped clean and could stand outside myself and see the emotional hostage I had become and actually see through the illusion I had created for myself. Mostly it was naïve confusion where I couldn’t understand how a Fourth Way Teacher could be so incompetent on so many levels when their potential was so great. And then I had to ask myself: “What about me?"
As time went by and the years passed I continued to ask myself questions. We are trained to believe if we get answers to our questions we can let it go and move on. But sometimes it just creates more questions. However, in dealing with a client who had alcohol issues in his family I began reading the book: “Adult Children of Alcoholics Syndrome” by Wayne Kritsberg. I could see in my client my own family and my mother’s drinking problems. I could see my parents’ drinking patterns throughout my childhood and all of the rules that hung over my head about rigidity, silence, denial and isolation. The control was suffocating. Everything had to be a certain way. No one could have an opinion about anything and there were always secrets. There was always the denial about anything being wrong. And there were never any outsiders in our home. There were no friends. Barely were there any neighbors. The few relatives, outside of the immediate family, were there for only short periods of time and then talked about as soon as they would leave so that everyone would know that they did not follow the right rules. My parents were always right and everyone else was wrong.
It is no wonder I ended up in a school that exhibited the same qualities as my family. I was seeking spiritual knowledge to set myself free and suddenly I was trapped and held hostage by my own script as it played itself out in this group that was there to assure me that I was okay. At least I would be okay as soon as I adopted their beliefs and their rules and their code of behavior. Even now my own “family members” within that school look upon me as the “child gone bad” who rejected Daddy and turned his back on the family. Not only that but some believe I stole my inheritance by going out on my own and not staying with the organization. How dare I leave the nest? How dare I make my way up that tunnel to the surface of the earth to breath fresh air and feel the warmth of the sun and to experience the Light on my own and discover that it was mine and it always had been mine and it always would be?
(Above right: Thane remains an icon of esoteric study and one who opened the door for others.)
Saga continues: Picking Up The Pieces
© Copyright Derek Lamar 2006
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